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Wild olives

By | October 18, 2001

Domestication and cultivation have resulted in the generation of wild-looking forms of Mediterranean fruit crops derived from cultivated plants (cultivars). In the October 18 Nature, Roselyne Lumaret and Noureddine Ouazzani describe a genetic hunt for genuinely wild olives in forests of the Mediterranean (Nature 2001, 413:700).They collected samples from ten forests (40 trees per forest) in seven countries around the Mediterranean basin, scored them for allozyme markers, and compared them with t

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abo

By | October 17, 2001

Mutation of the Drosphila gene abnormal oocyte (abo), causes a recessive maternal-effect lethality, which can be rescued by specific regions of heterochromatin. In the October 9 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Maria Berloco and colleagues report a characterization of the abo protein product and its function (Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001, 98:12126-12131).Berloco et al. cloned the abo gene and showed that it encodes a chromosomal protein that binds specifically to the regulatory re

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New drug target boosts hopes for stroke therapy

By | October 17, 2001

Plant-derived chemicals may help protect neurons from metabolic stress following stroke.

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Reopening the debate on the origins of vCJD

By | October 17, 2001

A new epidemiological study suggests that variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease may have developed independently of animal spongiform encephalopathies.

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Controlling the cell cycle clock

By | October 16, 2001

Using a novel DNA extraction method, the proteins that control the cell cycle regulatory proteins have been identified.

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More protection against anthrax

By | October 16, 2001

The main virulence factor of Bacillus anthracis is a toxin that consists of three separate gene products; protective antigen (PA), lethal factor (LF) and edema factor (EF). In July Infection and Immunity, Brian Price and colleagues from Ohio State University showed that DNA-based immunization with a plasmid encoding the LF or PA protein provides complete protection against anthrax lethal toxin.Price et al. used a gene gun to inoculate mice with either a vector plasmid encoding a fragment of PA o

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Phosphatase in metastasis

By | October 16, 2001

Metastasis poses the greatest threat to the survival of cancer patients, yet the molecular events underlying this complex process are unclear. In the October 11 ScienceXpress, Saurabh Saha and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, USA, describe serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) to identify genes involved in liver metastasis in colorectal cancer patients (ScienceXpress 10.1126/science.1065817).They developed an immunoaffinity fractionation procedure to purify co

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A new immune response switch

By | October 15, 2001

T cell interface.

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High protein diet warning

By | October 15, 2001

The current vogue for weight loss by following a high protein diet could lead to long-term damage.

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Lymphocyte signaling

By | October 15, 2001

During T-lymphocyte activation, signals from a number of cell-surface receptors must be integrated to ensure the appropriate genetic response. Non-dividing, primary T lymphocytes are notoriously difficult to transfect, presenting an experimental limitation to dissecting signaling mechanisms. In the October issue of Nature Medicine, Michael Bell and colleaguess from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, describe an efficient method for introducing DNA into non-dividing lymphocytes, so as to an

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